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Emergency help for Fort Worth families now available

Posted May 7, 2020 | Last updated May 15, 2020

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The Neighborhood Services Department is accepting applications for several programs designed to assist residents with housing and other household expenses resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Unemployment has skyrocketed since March, and delinquencies in rent and utility payments have followed. For April, as many as 15% of renters in Fort Worth have not paid rent.

Fort Worth has allocated $15.4 million in CARES Act funds from the federal government for housing-related activities. That amount is estimated to serve about 4,284 households locally.

Available funding programs include:

Community Services Block Grant

Recommended amount: $2,532,450.
Estimated households to be assisted: 700.
Provides eligible applicants rent and utility assistance. Eligible applicants must meet program income requirements, which includes household incomes at or below 200% of the poverty level. The applicant may only apply for rent and utility assistance related to one property.

Coronavirus Relief Fund

Recommended amount: $7,200,000.
Estimated households to be assisted: 2,000.
Provides eligible applicants emergency rental, rapid rehousing, utility assistance and other household expenses such as groceries and medicine. Eligible applicants’ total household income must be at or below 120% of the area median income. Applicants must provide documentation for the proof of hardship caused by COVID-19 that renders the household unable to pay rent, mortgage or utilities. Applicants must be a resident of the City of Fort Worth.

Applications for the Coronavirus Relief Fund and Community Services Block Grant programs are being accepted online. For more information visit the corresponding webpage or call 817-392-5720.

Other CARES Act funding for housing will be made available through partner agencies in June. These funding opportunities include:

Community Development Block Grant

Recommended amount: $3,488,233.
Estimated households to be assisted: 970.
Program provides eligible applicants emergency rental assistance for impacted families. Eligible applicants’ total household income must meet program income requirements at or below 80% of the area median income. The applicant may only apply for rent, assistance related to one property. Applicants must provide documentation for the proof of hardship caused by COVID-19 that renders the household unable to pay rent. Applicants must be a resident of the City of Fort Worth. Program will be administered by local nonprofit social service organizations under contract with the city.

Emergency Solutions Grant

Recommend amount: $1,982,664.
Estimated households to be assisted: 536.
Provides rapid rehousing assistance, including security deposits, to people experiencing homelessness to quickly reconnect to permanent housing. The assistance will be available four to 12 months depending on extent of need for support services.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS

Recommended amount: $231,999.
Estimated households to be assisted: 64.
Short-term rent and utilities, supportive services and tenant-based rental assistance for people who are HIV-positive or diagnosed with AIDS and impacted by COVID-19. Applicants must be at or below 80% area median income. Program will be administered by nonprofit social service agency partners and the city Community Action Partners program

For additional resources to help Fort Worth residents:

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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority DBA Mestar Mobil Healthcare Meeting and Board of Directors Budget Workshop: 10 a.m. June 4, 2020; Conference Call.
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